NPR logo It's Over Now: Songs For Heartbreakers

It's Over Now: Songs For Heartbreakers

Lovey-dovey romantic types get all the attention on Valentine's Day. But not everyone wants to be in love right about now, and some relationships just happen to be hitting their expiration date this very minute. So here are five songs, each perfect for those looking to break someone's heart.

This story originally ran Feb. 9, 2009.

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It's Over Now: Songs For Heartbreakers

Cover for Carmen Sings Monk [Bonus Tracks]
It's Over Now (Well, You Needn't)
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Carmen McRae

  • Song: It's Over Now (Well, You Needn't)
  • from Carmen Sings Monk [Bonus Tracks]

These three little words strung together, "It's Over Now," make for a concise, matter-of-fact breakup line. Other phrases that require further explanation — "It's not you, it's me" or "Can we just be friends?" — don't say it straight like Carmen McRae. If the music sounds familiar, note that the song is actually the instrumental Thelonious Monk composition "Well, You Needn't," with lyrics by Mike Ferro.

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Song
Carmen Sings Monk [Bonus Tracks]
Album
Carmen Sings Monk [Bonus Tracks]
Artist
Carmen McRae
Label
RCA
Released
2001

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Blues From Kansas City
Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay
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Jay McShann Orchestra With Walter Brown

  • Song: Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay
  • from Blues from Kansas City

"Cryin' Won't Make Me Stay" is for the man who needs to get rid of a woman who treats him poorly. "Well, I ain't gonna be your low-down dog no more," sings Walter Brown. Jay McShann's boogie-woogie piano sets an up-tempo background for his overdue farewell.

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Song
Blues from Kansas City
Album
Blues from Kansas City
Artist
Jay McShann
Label
Aris
Released
1941

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Take the "A" Train
Go Away Blues
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Betty Roché

  • Song: Go Away Blues
  • from Take the "A" Train

The line "I don't want you no more / You're an awful boy, and an eyesore" might seem a little harsh. But, well, plenty of people no doubt deserve it. With the light touch of Eddie Costa's vibes behind Betty Roche's humor-tinged voice, this song is a swinging, surprisingly cheerful way to tell someone to go away.

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Song
Take the "A" Train
Album
Take the "A" Train
Artist
Betty Roché
Label
JVC Victor
Released
1956

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The Best of Nancy Wilson -- The Jazz and Blues Sessions
Never Will I Marry
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Nancy Wilson

  • Song: Never Will I Marry
  • from Best of Nancy Wilson: The Jazz and Blues Sessions

Need to break off an engagement? Just quote Nancy Wilson: "I was born to wander, solitary." On this bright, quick number, Wilson sings with perfect force and certainty, while Nat Adderley's cornet accentuates her message. An anthem to being single and carefree, "Never Will I Marry" just happens to break hearts along the way.

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Song
Best of Nancy Wilson: The Jazz and Blues Sessions
Album
Best of Nancy Wilson: The Jazz and Blues Sessions
Artist
Nancy Wilson
Label
Capitol
Released
1996

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Cover for The Definitive Chet Baker
I Get Along Without You Very Well
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Chet Baker

  • Song: I Get Along Without You Very Well
  • from The Definitive Chet Baker

"I Get Along Without You Very Well" is for the wishy-washy heartbreaker who isn't fully convinced that breaking up was a good idea. Chet Baker sings of getting along without an ex, but then falls into a few sentimental musings. Baker may be determined to forget, but he gets pretty wistful, too.

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Song
The Definitive Chet Baker
Album
The Definitive Chet Baker
Artist
Chet Baker
Label
Blue Note

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